The Church History

Brief History of the Church

Original ChurchEdward, King and Confessor, is the Patron Saint of the church which was built and endowed by Edward George Lancaster JP of Keresforth Hall. The total cost of building the church and the old vicarage came to some £30,000 and was paid by Mr Lancaster.

It is said that he vowed to build and endow the church whilst in a subterranean chapel of Milan Cathedral in which the body of Carlo Borromeo is preserved Another story is that he had a vision on the banks of the river Nile. Whatever his real reason he made the vision come true. Since then generations have worshipped here as we do today.

The Church is built in the style of the Early English Period and is cruciform in shape with a square tower surmounted by a short spire. The Lady Chapel on one side and the organ on the other. At the west end there are two porches, north and south, a baptistry was planned to be between them at the rear but was never built.

The nave is 70ft (21.3 metres) long and 30ft (9.1 metres ) wide with north and south aisles, the total width being 46ft (14 metres). The height of the nave from floor to ceiling is 44ft (13.4 metres), and to the ridge 54ft (16.4 metres). The chancel is 40ft (12.2 metres) in length and 20ft (6.1 metres ) in width and the height of the ceiling is 34ft (10.4 metres).

Patron of the Living until his death at the age of 94 on 31st October 1934, Edward Lancaster is buried in the only grave in the churchyard, beneath the East Window. The stained glass in the East and West Windows was inserted in his memory in 1936.

 There are many notable features of the church, all of which are worthy of closer inspection, and include the polished granite columns in the nave, the mosaic floor in the sanctuary and the chancel, the reredos, pulpit and font, some fine woodwork and stained glass and the massive timbered roof.

The three, manual organ dating from 1904 is a fine. example of the work of Leeds organ builder James Binns.

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